Forgotten Classics: The Beautiful People by Charles Beaumont

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“Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty.”
– David Hume (Of The Standard Of Taste)

We tend to forget. Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series seemed fresh and original when it came out a couple years ago. But that’s because we’d forgotten about Charles Beaumont and The Beautiful People. Westerfeld wrote four novels exploring territory that Charles Beaumont pioneered. It’s short story that packs a helluva punch. Imagine a world when everyone around you says that you are ugly, that you’re fat. that you’re unhealthy, that you’re self image is completely wrong, and most importantly that you’ve got to change because social position will be completely untenable.

Now imagine that world – our world – just a few years in the future. A world in which everyone wears a mask on all the days before and after October 31st.

Pure horror.

The Beautiful People has stuff to say about beauty and ugliness, the proper place of women, the value of book reading, as wells as the passing fads of sleeping and eating.

Here is a |PDF| version.

The Beautiful People illustration by Martin

Forgotten ClassicsThe Beautiful People
By Charles Beaumont; Read by Julie Davis
1 |MP3| – Approx. 47 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Forgotten Classics
Podcast: October 2011
|ETEXT|
Mary was a misfit. She didn’t want to be beautiful. And she wasted time doing mad things—like eating and sleeping. First published in the September 1952 issue of If Worlds of Science Fiction.

The Twilight Zone adapted The Beautiful People into an episode entitled Number 12 Looks Just Like You.

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Radio 4: Something Wicked This Way Comes AUDIO DRAMA

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The BBC is not noted for programming that specifically celebrates Halloween. There is, however, a new production of the Ray Bradbury classic Something Wicked This Way Comes (a full cast radio production), which is one thing that is wickedly coming this way this weekend:

BBC Radio 4The Saturday Play – Something Wicked This Way Comes
Adapted from the novel by Ray Bradbury; Dramatised by Diana Griffiths; Performed by a full cast
1 Broadcast – Approx. 1 Hour [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4
Broadcast: Saturday October 29, 2011 (14:30-15:30)
Set in 1960’s Illinois this gem of modern Gothic literature is the memorable story of two boys, James Nightshade and William Halloway, and the evil that grips their small Midwestern town with the arrival of a “dark carnival” one Autumn midnight. These two innocents, both aged 13, (Will is born one minute before Halloween, and Jim one minute after) save the souls of the town (as well as their own). This is a vivid variation on the eternal theme of the fight between Good and Evil. A thrilling, chilling, richly kaleidoscopic sound world ensues; a shimmering mirror maze that reflects your older or younger self, depending on your desires, and a magic carousel that plays Chopin’s Funeral March forwards – with each rotation you gain a year, and rotating backwards – you get younger.

Cast:
Will … Theo Gregory
Jim … Josef Lindsay
Charlie … Henry Goodman
Mr. Dark … Kenneth Cranham
Mr. Coogar/Lightening rod salesman … Gerard McDermott
Miss Foley … Barbara Barnes
Dust Witch … Buffy Davis
Robert … Taran Stanzler
Young Miss Foley … Amelia Clarkson
JED … Ethan Brooke
Composer … David Paul Jones
Sound … Paul Cargill
Produced/Directed by Pauline Harris

[Thanks Roy]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Hallowe’en In A Suburb by H.P. Lovecraft

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Need Coffee Dot ComHallowe’en In A Suburb
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by ????
1 |MP3| – Approx. 2 Minutes [POETRY]
Podcaster: NeedCoffee.com’s 32 Days Of Halloween
Podcast: October 6, 2010
First published in the March 1926 issue of National Amateur (as “In A Suburb”).

Podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/32days

Here’s Virgil Finlay accompanying illustration, and the text itself, as it appeared in the September 1952 issue of Weird Tales:

Hallowe'en In A Suburb by H. P. Lovecraft - illustration by Virgil Finlay

Hallowe'en In A Suburb by H. P. Lovecraft

[Many thanks to Gorgon776]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Prometheus Radio Theatre: Night Train Through Maco

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Prometheus Radio TheatreAfter months of single-voice readings, Prometheus Radio Theatre returns this week to what it does best: full-cast audio drama.  “Night Train Through Maco” is a post-Hallowe’en treat I based on a ghost story from my family’s home state, North Carolina.  For over a hundred years, travelers in the area of Maco Station reported seeing a light hovering over the railroad tracks near a swamp where a terrible crash had killed a conductor named Joe Baldwin.  In this short dramatization, we work in a little Southern history and a little turn-of-the-century (that’s the 20th Century!) melodrama, as a young couple on the run are pursued by her murderous suitor, and haunted by the conductor’s ghost.   Heather Scheeler and Ethan Wilson turned out some very lively and believable performances for this, and we really had an opportunity to let sound tell a story as we moved through runaway train cars, swamps, and dark and stormy nights.

|MP3|

Podcast Feed: http://prometheus.libsyn.com/rss

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Steven H. Wilson

The Moth: The Undertaker’s Daughter

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The MothLike a little humour? A good speaker? A short podcast? A surprise ending? You HAVE TO LISTEN to this The Moth Podcast by Jeffery Rudell: The Undertaker’s Daughter from 2003. It is ostensibly about a youth losing his childhood because of “Mr. Stiffie” in Small Town, U.S.A. on Hallowe’en night. In its just under 18 minutes it is set in the mind of an adolescent and in a mortuary. For those of you unfamiliar with The Moth, stories are presented live and without notes. I was, and this will be of more interest after you listen, introduced to this podcast at a funeral by my cousin, Malcolm McColl. It is now at the top of my favourites – and not just because my attention span is shortening in my advancing years. Listen and enjoy!

|MP3|

Podcast feed:

http://feeds.themoth.org/themothpodcast

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Elaine Willis

Voices In The Wind Audio Theatre

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Voices In The Wind Audio TheatreExecutive Producer David Farquhar of the audio drama troupe called Voices In The Wind Audio Theatre, writes in to tell me about audio drama production group. From the website:

Voices In The Wind– Audio Theatre, formally Design Sound Productions. Our mission is to produce quality audio drama programs which reflect a wide range of genres including Suspense, Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi and Seasonal Presentations. Our production studio is located in Chatham, Ontario Canada, and we have had the good fortune of working with noted actors, writers and directors from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle in the United States as well as from Toronto, Guelph, Windsor and Huntsville in Canada.

And notably, among their roster of professionals is Seeing Ear Theatre veteran George Zarr! Check out these free downloads:

Running To Detroit by Dave CarleyRunning to Detroit
By Dave Carley; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 38 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Voices In The Wind
Published: July 2010
A mother and daughter plan on crossing the border from “Canuckistan” into Detroit, Michigan in an effort to “boost the American economy.” Sadly, a passport problem makes the change their plans – but all is not lost, as a pair of shady characters can help!

School Spirit by George ZarrSchool Spirit
By George Zarr; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 28 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CFCO / CHRW
Broadcast: Halloween 2005
“After a nighttime brush with the supernatural will Michelle’s first day of High School, be her last?”
SCHOOL SPIRIT was recorded live at the Von Ayres Cultural Center in Wallaceburg, Ontario on May 14, 2005 for later broadcast on CFCO AM 630 / 92.9 FM – Chatham and CHRW 94.9 – London on Halloween night 2005. The program was also featured on M Radio and The Sonic Society.
Stars:
ALEXANDRA POOLE: Michelle
NOELLE DUPUIS: Mom
GLEN TURNER: Dad and Fiend
JC CHARBONNEAU: Marcy and Mrs. Stanton
ANTHONY POSER: Ghoul
JASON DOLSEN: Newscaster and Mr. Jameson
PAT GOUGH: Homicidal Teacher
Crew:
Written and Directed by: George Zarr
Executive Producer/Background Ambiences: David Farquhar
Post Production: George Zarr
Recording Engineer/Front of House Mix: Brett Sansom
Musical Accompaniment/Spot Sound Effects: Joseph Benoit
Foley Sound Effects: Denise Benoit and Christina Roberts
“Voices In The Cold Wind” Lyrics by Frank Stasio, Music by George Zarr Performed by Noelle Dupuis and Denise Benoit, musical accompaniment by Joseph Benoit

Every Now And Then by George ZarrEvery Now And Then
By George Zarr; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 33 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CFCO / The Radio Works
Broadcast: 2003
“A sunny day, a quaint antique store, browsing through the artifacts of the past. To some, these are the ingredients for a pleasantly-spent afternoon. To Frank, it is the beginning of a journey that will tear his world inside out. Is his amusing and puzzling journey down memory lane an actual journey? Or a careening descent into insanity?” Every Now And Then [is] an original radio drama of suspense produced for broadcast on the New York based radio series The Radio Works and their 70 member stations across the USA and CFCO AM 630/92.9 FM. The Program was also featured on M Radio and The Sonic Society.
Cast:
GREGG RAINWATER: Frank and Johnny
NOELLE DUPUIS: Diane and Mabel
NORM MCLEOD: Mr. Sagen, Sea Captain and Sailor
ALEXANDRA POOLE: Virginia
PAT GOUGH: Mrs. Spencer
BOB STEELE: Horse and Carriage Driver, Newspaper Vendor and Sailor
DAVID FARQUHAR: Voice on Gramophone
Crew:
Written and Directed by: George Zarr
Executive Producer, Recording Engineer and Post Production: David Farquhar
Original Music: George Zarr
Vocals: Noelle Dupuis

Dark Road To Nowhere by Joey OuelletteDark Road to Nowhere
By Joey Ouellette; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 13 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio One (Windsor, Chatham and Sarnia), CFCO, Sound Affects
Broadcast: Halloween 2003
“It was a dark and stormy night, Simon and Felicia were out driving along a lonely country road, when suddenly, something jumped out in front of their car, was it a Halloween trick, an illusion or the beginning of a nightmare?
Cast:
ANTHONY POSER: Simon
ANDREA KING: Felicia and the Old Woman
JOEY OUELLETE: Mr. Howard the Keeper
HOST: Norm McLeod
DAN LIPINSKI: Igor
Crew:
Written and Directed by: Joey Ouellette
Executive Producer/Recording Engineer/Post Production: David Farquhar

Posted by Jesse Willis